Sun 09 January 2022 | 17:30

Greatest Nottingham Forest players of all time

The Foresters have been great way back in the Premier League history and under Brian Clough and Peter Taylor, however, the greatness of this team has shattered, and the pieces have become great athletes whom we are going to meet today as the greatest Nottingham Forest players of all time.

Nottingham Forest is one of England's most popular football teams.

Brian Clough

was the club's most successful manager. In the late 1970s, Forest had a stratospheric ascent and remarkable success, winning back-to-back European Cups in 1979 and 1980.

Forest has won one Premier League championship, two FA Cups, four League Cups, one FA Charity Shield, two European Cups, and one UEFA Super Cup in total.

In the club's long history

, many great players have graced the field. These players have made an indelible mark on the club's supporters. In this article, we've compiled a list of the

best ever Nottingham Forest players


Top 15 greatest Nottingham Forest players of all time with details

As the title suggests we have gathered 15 of the Nottingham Forest legends who have played for this amazing team and their performance awed the fans and supporters. We will meet each of them and learn more about their life and career.

We have tried to include most of these athletes on the list, however, if you think that we have missed a few please let us know.

It is important to note that these players have been ranked based on their performance and service for their team. Additionally, we will also learn about

Nottingham Forest best player 2021


Now without further ado let us dive deep into the list to meet some of the best ever Nottingham Forest players.

Stan Collymore

As we promised, right before we get to meet our first legend, let us see who will probably become the Nottingham Forest best player 2021. Brice Samba with a rating of 72 who serves as a goalkeeper is the probable winner of this title for this season and this year.

James Garner on the other hand is also another candidate for this title of Nottingham Forest best player 2021 with a rating of 70.

Now back to our Nottingham Forest legends, Stanley Victor Collymore is first on the list.

This amazing athlete is an English football commentator, sports strategist, and former striker who played for Nottingham Forest and Liverpool from 1990 to 2001, most notably for an English transfer record of £8.5 million in 1995. Currently, he works as a senior football strategist with

Southend United


Collymore played for non-league Stafford Rangers after being released from Wolves' academy, where he grabbed the attention of

Crystal Palace

, who signed him in January 1991.

After failing to break into the first team, he moved to Southend United in the Second Division (which was renamed the First Division in 1992), where his goalscoring record helped save the club from relegation and drew interest from Nottingham Forest, who he joined for £2.25 million in the summer of 1993.

Collymore had two successful seasons with Forest, achieving promotion to the Premier League in his first season and scoring 22 goals in the 1994-1995 season when Forest finished third.

Bob McKinlay

Robert McKinlay was a professional footballer who played as a central defender for the Scottish national team. Before joining Nottingham Forest's coaching staff, he played 614 league games for the club, including 265 consecutive games (all in the top flight of English football) between 1959 and 1965.

He has the most appearances for the club and won the FA Cup with them in 1959. Later in life, he worked as a jail guard.

Billy McKinlay, his uncle, was also a Nottingham Forest player.

John McGovern

John Prescott McGovern is one of the candidates of best ever Nottingham Forest players. McGovern is most known for captaining the Nottingham Forest team that won the European Cup twice under Brian Clough and

Peter Taylor

, who he played for at four different clubs.

At the age of 19, he became the youngest player in the Football League's four divisions. He gained promotion with Hartlepools United, Derby County, and Nottingham Forest throughout his playing career.



and Nottingham Forest were English League champions while he played for them. He won the UEFA Super Cup, two Football League Cups, the FA Charity Shield, and the Anglo-Scottish Cup during his time at Forest. During this era of prosperity, he served as Forest's club captain.

Wally Ardron

Wally Ardron was a footballer who played as a center forward and was born in Swinton, West Yorkshire. After joining Rotherham United from Denaby United, he went on to score 98 Football League goals for the club both before and after WWII.

After his spell at Rotherham, he joined Nottingham Forest. Ardron made his league debut for Nottingham Forest on August 20, 1949, in a 2-2 draw away to



During his tenure there, he also won two champion leagues. He holds the record for most Forest league goals scored in a single season (36 in 1950–51) and is the club's third-best goal scorer overall, and that’s why he is considered one of the Nottingham Forest legends.

Grenville Morris

Arthur Grenville Morris was a Welsh footballer who played for Nottingham Forest in the Football League. With 217 goals, he is the club's all-time leading scorer and ultimately one of the

Nottingham Forest legends


Between 1896 and 1912, he also played for Aberystwyth Town and Swindon Town, as well as representing Wales, gaining 21 appearances.

Morris was a key member of the Aberystwyth Town team that came to prominence at the close of the nineteenth century, scoring 111 goals in a five-year period in Ceredigion.

Because of his increasing fame, he was offered a job with the Great Western Railway in Swindon Town.

This legend scored 21 goals in only one season in Wiltshire, and he was quickly on the move again, with FA Cup winners Nottingham Forest purchasing him for £200 - a high fee at the time, which Forest supporters had questioned.

Morris rewarded Forest with a spectacular career that is still spoken about by die-hard Midlands supporters.

The inside forward played for the City Ground for 15 years, and the No10 jersey became linked with the Builth native, who gained the moniker "Prince of Inside Lefts" and served as captain for five years.

He was so vital to Forest at the time that they agreed he may train whenever and wherever he chose.

Morris never won a trophy at Forest, but his six goals in a 12-0 victory against Leicester Fosse in 1909 saved the team from relegation and cemented his position in City Ground legend.

Martin O’Neil

Hugh Martin Michael O'Neill, OBE, is a former Northern Irish footballer and professional football manager. Now, why is he on the Nottingham Forest legends list? we are about to discover.

O'Neill began his career in Northern Ireland before moving to England to play with Nottingham Forest, with whom he won the European Cup twice in 1979 and 1980. He was a 64-cap captain for Northern Ireland in the 1982 World Cup.

He led Leicester City to three FA Cup finals, two of which they won. Between 2000 and 2005, he managed


to seven trophies, including three Scottish Premier League crowns and a UEFA Cup Final appearance in 2003. He coached Aston Villa to the 2010 Football League Cup Final after three consecutive sixth-place finishes in the English Premier League.

In 2013, he was appointed manager of the Republic of Ireland, and he guided them to qualifying for the 2016 UEFA European Championship for the third time in the country's history, defeating reigning world champions



In November 2018, he "mutually agreed" to leave the post with assistant Roy Keane.

He was named manager of Nottingham Forest in January 2019 but resigned six months later.

Ian Storey-Moore

With Ian, we are starting to get into the top 10 of the list thus it is expected to see more from

Nottingham Forest legends

from now on.

Ian Storey-Moore is a former international association football player from England. Before his career was cut short due to injury while playing for Manchester United, he scored over 100 league goals for Nottingham Forest.

Later in his career, he managed Shepshed Charterhouse and Burton Albion, as well as serving as a top scout at Nottingham Forest and

Aston Villa


Storey-Moore was scouted while playing youth football in Scunthorpe and signed with Nottingham Forest in May 1961. In 1963, Johnny Carey was named Forest Manager. Carey put together a squad that included Storey-Moore, Joe Baker, and Alan Hinton and competed for the 1966–67 Football League championship for a long time.

On October 1, 1966, they defeated Manchester United 4–1 at the City Ground. Forest was second in the standings after a 3–0 victory against Aston Villa on April 15, a point behind United. Forest had to settle with being League Runners-Up and lost in the 1966-67 FA Cup semi-final against Dave Mackay's Tottenham Hotspur due to injuries.

In a game against Holland in 1970, Storey-Moore earned his only full England cap. He scored 105 goals in 236 Forest league appearances before leaving in March 1972.

Nigel Clough

Nigel Howard Clough is the current manager of Mansfield Town, an English professional football manager, and a former player.

Clough began his career at Nottingham Forest as an apprentice after graduating from high school in 1982. After two seasons with Heanor Town in the non-league, he returned to the City Ground on a professional deal in December 1984.

In December 1996, he returned to Nottingham Forest on loan following Frank Clark's resignation, when Stuart Pearce took over as temporary manager. Before returning to

Manchester City

, he scored once against Leicester City in 13 league outings. He never returned to the club.

Viv Anderson

Vivian Alexander Anderson, MBE (born July 29, 1956) is a former professional footballer and coach from England. While playing for Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest, he won five senior honors, including the 1977–78 Football League championship and both the 1978–79 and 1979–80 European Cups.

Later, he was a member of the Arsenal and Manchester United sides that each won a domestic cup. Sheffield Wednesday, Barnsley, and Middlesbrough were among his previous clubs. After Paul Reaney, he was the first black and second non-white footballer to play for the senior men's England national team.

Anderson was one of the first black players to play for major English clubs at the time, and he faced racist abuse from opposing supporters on a daily basis. He was attacked with bananas and subjected to racial slurs on a daily basis.

Anderson had broken into the Nottingham Forest squad in 1974 and became a regular in January 1975, when Brian Clough took over as manager of the East Midlands club, which was then in the Second Division.

He was a member of the team that gained promotion to the First Division in 1977 and went on to win the championship and the League Cup the following year. Anderson's England career seemed to be stagnating as Forest began to slide from prominence (the aged team was splitting apart, and the 1980 European Cup success would prove to be their last title for nine years).

Following the World Cup and Greenwood's departure, he did not play again under new coach Bobby Robson until 1984, with Neal continuing to earn the majority of the starts. During this time, England failed to qualify for the 1984 European Championships.

Des Walker

Desmond Sinclair is a character in the film Desmond Sinclair Walker is a former defender and coach in the English football league. Walker was discovered playing locally in London and was recruited as a trainee by Forest in 1980.

He had previously been a member of Tottenham Hotspur's development system but was removed following a spat with former manager Bill Nicholson over his refusal to get a haircut.

Forest manager Brian Clough, known for giving young players chances, handed Walker his debut in March 1984 at the age of 18 while attempting to rebuild the squad following the disintegration of their European Cup-winning team.

Forest qualified for the UEFA Cup after finishing third. Walker's nine seasons with Forest's first squad resulted in just three different league finishes: third (three times), eighth (four times), and ninth (once) (twice).

Walker won his first club player of the year title with Forest in 1987.

Walker got his second League Cup winner's medal in 1990, as Forest beat Oldham Athletic to retain the title.

He was named Forest Player of the Year for the second time. For the second year in a row, he was named to the PFA Team of the Year. Walker's sole goal in professional football came on New Year's Day 1992, when he equalized in a 1–1 draw against Luton.

Forest won the Full Members Cup for the second time that season, defeating Southampton 3-2 in extra time. For the third time in six seasons, Walker left Forest as their player of the year. He was also named to the PFA Team of the Year for the fourth time in a row.

Do you agree on this one of Nottingham Forest legends position on the list or he should have been ranked differently? Let us know!

Peter Shilton

The legendary goalkeeper is one of

Nottingham Forest legends

who starts the top 5 of the list.

Peter Leslie Shilton OBE is a former goalkeeper for the England national football team. He now holds the record for most appearances for the England men's team, with 125 caps, as well as the all-time record for most competitive appearances in global football, with 1,390.

Shilton was recognized among the best ten goalkeepers of the twentieth century by the IFFHS in 2000.

During his 30-year career, he played for 11 different teams and is the only player to have appeared in over 1000 league games, including over 100 for each of five separate clubs. Shilton won several trophies during his tenure at Nottingham Forest, including the First Division title, two European Cups, a UEFA Super Cup, and the Football League Cup.

He is well remembered for being the goalie who saved Diego Maradona's "hand of god" and "goal of the century" goals in the quarterfinals of the 1986 FIFA World Cup.

Shilton did not make his World Cup finals debut until he was 32 years old, although he appeared in 17 finals matches and is tied with French goalkeeper Fabien Barthez for the most clean sheets in World Cup finals matches with ten.

Roy Keane

The Manchester United icon needs no introduction as most of the football lovers already know who he is but before Man United he was also a Forester.

Roy Maurice Keane is a former professional footballer and manager from Ireland. He is the joint most successful Irish footballer of all time, with 19 major trophies to his name in his club career, 17 of which he won while playing for Manchester United in England.

Due to the extended durations apart from his family, Keane found living in Nottingham tough at first, and he would often request a few days' home leave to return to Cork. Clough's compassion in accommodating Keane's demands helped him get through his early days at the club, according to Keane.


made his Forest debut in a pre-season competition in the Netherlands with the Under-21s squad.

This legend ultimately scored his first professional goal against Sheffield United, and by 1991, he had displaced England international Steve Hodge as a regular starter. He was a dominant box-to-box midfielder who was known for his combative and competitive style of play, which helped him flourish as captain.

Trevor Francis

Trevor John Francis is a former English football forward who played for teams in England, the United States, Italy, Scotland, and Australia. Following his move from Birmingham City to Nottingham Forest in 1979, he became Britain's first £1 million player.

Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest, the reigning First Division winners, and League Cup holders, made an offer for Francis worth little over £1 million.

No player had ever been sold for a seven-figure fee between English clubs before (the previous record was less than half), but the deal was done, with Francis famously being introduced to the media by a manager eager to play squash; Clough was dressed in his red gym kit and holding a racquet as he spoke to the press.

While he is known as the first British millionaire, his real transfer cost was £1,150,000, which included a 15% charge to the Football League. Clough said in his memoirs that the sum was £999,999 because he wanted to make sure the million-pound milestone would not go to the player's head, although Francis claims it was a joke.

Francis may not have lived up to his full potential as a Forest player. This might be attributed in part to Clough's habit of putting Francis on the right flank rather than in his favored position of the center attacker.

His Forest career's success never quite matched his high fee: he only scored 14 league goals in the 1979–80 season and just 6 in the following 18 games he played for Forest. Despite the fact that he was still a regular for England, his Achilles injury stopped him from participating in the 1980 European Championships, and his scoring record in club football was not particularly impressive.

Stuart Pearce

Stuart Pearce is the last one of Nottingham Forest legends that we have to read about before moving on to the top man of the list.

Stuart Pearce MBE is a Premier League first-team coach at West Ham United. He is an English professional football manager and former player. For his harsh style of play, he was dubbed "Psycho."

Manager Brian Clough recruited Pearce to Nottingham Forest two years later, in 1985. Pearce was the makeweight in a £300,000 transfer that saw Ian Butterworth, a Coventry center-back, join Forest. Pearce was so apprehensive about his football future that he offered his skills as an electrician in Forest's match-day program following the move.

Pearce played at Forest for twelve years, most of them as captain. He won two League Cups and the Full Members Cup throughout his playing career, as well as scoring a free-kick in the 1991 FA Cup final, which Forest lost to Tottenham Hotspur.

Pearce was one of the Forest players that had to deal with the horrors of the Hillsborough catastrophe during the opening minutes of their FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool while at the City Ground.

Forest was relegated from the Premier League in 1993, and manager Brian Clough stepped down after 18 years in charge, but Pearce chose to remain at the City Ground and guided Forest to an immediate return to the top level as Division One runners-up.

In 1995, he helped Forest finish third in the Premier League, and in 1996, he helped the club reach the UEFA Cup quarter-finals. After 12 years at the City Ground, Pearce chose to depart on a free transfer at the conclusion of the 1996–97 season.

John Robertson

John Neilson Robertson is a former professional footballer from Scotland. When Nottingham Forest won the 1979 European Cup Final, he supplied the helping cross for Trevor Francis to score the game's lone goal. A year later, he scored in Forest's 1-0 victory against Hamburger SV to retain the championship.

He also won promotion from the Football League Second Division in 1976-77, the Football League First Division in 1977-78, the UEFA Super Cup, two Football League Cups, the 1978 FA Charity Shield, and the Anglo-Scottish Cup at Forest.

Before joining Forest in May 1970, Robertson had represented Scotland at Schoolboy and Youth levels, as well as Drumchapel Amateurs.

He made his Forest debut in October 1970. Robertson became a significant player as a left-winger under Clough, appearing in 243 straight games between December 1976 and December 1980, despite being an irregular part of the first team as a midfielder up until 1975 and being on the transfer list when Clough became manager.

In the 1978 Football League Cup Final replay against Liverpool, he scored the game-winning penalty for Forest.

John McGovern, Robertson's captain at Forest, subsequently said that "John Robertson was similar to Ryan Giggs, but he had two decent feet instead of one. Robertson "had more skill than Ryan Giggs, his ratio of generating goals was greater, and altogether he was the superior footballer," Forest coach Jimmy Gordon said, adding that Robertson "had something additional on top" of Tom Finney and Stanley Matthews ".

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